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CCTV Test Monitors

Frequently Asked Questions About Security CCTV Test Monitors - FAQ’s

What is a CCTV Test Monitor?

A CCTV Test Monitor is a device used to assist in installing a security camera system. It allows you to plug a viewing monitor directly into a security camera so you can adjust the lens, adjust the cameras view, test the cameras performance, and manage all the cameras internal features right at the cameras location. A CCTV test monitor will have a small video screen to view what the camera is seeing, plus it will have the coaxial connections needed to attach the test monitor directly to the camera. Some CCTV test monitors are simpler than others. Some are just pure viewing monitors, while some have the capability to test the cameras power, video signal quality, and the cameras PTZ functions. Using a CCTV test monitor simplifies and installation while allowing you to better fine tune your cameras.

What if I don’t have a CCTV Test Monitor?

You do not have to have a test monitor to install security cameras, but it does help. If you don’t have one you will have to have someone at the camera making adjustments, and someone back at the DVR viewing the system monitor. As you adjust the camera, the person at the DVR and main monitor will have to direct you as you make adjustments. So not having a test monitor makes are installation a two person job. Someone will have to be directing you as you navigate the cameras features and make the adjustments you need to ensure the best view. This communication can be done by voice, or by phone if the camera is installed a far distance from the DVR and monitor. A CCTV test monitor allows you to walk up to the camera and plug directly into the camera. From the camera location you can navigate the cameras menu, adjust the camera lens, and point the camera in the perfect direction as you are watching the progress right from the test monitor.

How does a CCTV Test Monitor work?

Most test monitors for security camera installations allow you to strap the monitor to either your wrist or use a strap to put it around your neck. Some are battery operated and some allow you to charge the unit by plugging it into a power outlet. It has BNC video inputs and outputs on board so you can take a small coaxial cable patch cable and plug it directly into the camera and the test monitor. Once this connection is made you will see exactly what the camera is seeing on the test monitor. At that point you can start making all the required camera adjustments right at the camera. The adjustments you make at the camera are seen on the monitor, so you can dial in the camera and ensure you are getting the best possible view. Everything you see on the test monitor will be the exact view your DVR will capture and the same view you will as video is captured.

Can I test IP cameras with a test monitor?

There are special testers that are made specifically for IP cameras. So if you are trying to test IP cameras you need to make sure you buy a test monitor that is specific for them. A CCTV Test Monitor only offers the coaxial cable connection for testing traditional CCTV cameras.

Will a CCTV Test Monitor test PTZ cameras?

Yes. A good quality test monitor will allow you to view all CCTV camera types. This includes indoor and outdoor dome cameras, bullet cameras, covert cameras, PTZ cameras, and box cameras. Pretty much every security camera type that takes a BNC connection can be viewed with a test monitor. This is because you are plugging directly into the BNC output located on the camera.

Does a CCTV Test Monitor test the power to the security cameras?

Some have the power testing feature and some do not. Obviously the ones that test power are going to be more expensive. Many installers will choose to just use a volt meter to test the amount of power that is coming from the CCTV power supply out to the camera. Since voltage drop is often a huge issue, having a power meter is always a plus in an installation.

Will a test monitor attach to the camera when the camera is attached to the DVR?

This depend on the camera you are installing. Many camera manufacturers are now adding an extra input solely for the purpose of attaching a test monitor to the camera. This is nice because you will not have to unplug the main feed cable that is run between the DVR and the camera. Many low cost security cameras do not offer this extra connection. This means you will have to unplug the main cable feed from the camera and attach the patch cable from the test monitor to view the camera. Since the test monitor will not also power the camera you will have to ensure the power cable is ran to the camera and it is attached to the camera with the CCTV power supply on. The camera must be powered to ensure the camera is turned on and capturing video to display it onto the test monitor.

Which test monitors does Cabling Plus offer?

We offer professional grade security camera test monitors manufactured by the best companies in the industry. We offer test monitors manufactured by CBC American Ganz and Tatung TRIVIEW. Both offer high quality products with great warranties. They have great names in the industry so you know you are getting products that are built to last.

Can I use a regular monitor to test my security cameras?

In essence you are by attaching a monitor to the DVR. But if you want to set up your cameras at their installed locations you will need a test monitor. A CCTV Test Monitor is an essential tool for any professional installer. As an installer, if you do not have one you are just creating more time on a job site….which means you are losing money. A home owner can get away without having one. It may take more time to install the system but it is not a requirement.

Will I see the cameras internal menu on the screen of the test monitor?

Yes. You will see the entire menu and the view the camera is seeing. In the menu you will be able to adjust all the cameras features like color, contrast, backlight compensation, image control, highlight masking exposure, shutter speed, and any other features your camera may have. You will also be able to turn on special features that your camera may need to provide the best view. As you make changes to the cameras features you will see the changes in real time right on the test monitor. A test monitor will simplify your installation and allow one person to set up the camera. This will save you time and money in a security camera system installation.